Milwaukee Brewers "In the News": Dec. 15

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Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers News

- Jon Heyman of SI.com lists the Brewers among the “losers” from the Winter Meetings.

- Buster Olney of ESPN says the Brewers need starting pitching and a closer. Thanks, Buster…

- Michael Hunt says the Brewers will still be a good team without Sabathia and Sheets.

- Jesse Motiff of Bleacher Report says there’s “no reason to panic.”


Brewers Rumors and Speculation

- The Cameron/Cabrera trade talks will supposedly intensify again tomorrow. The key to the deal might be the Brewers taking Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa, according to Haudricourt. Apparently, the Yankees are not willing to send one of their top pitching prospects. The NY Daily Post says, “Brewers asked for Phil CokeJose Veras and Mark Melancon and quickly were told no.” 

So, the Brewers are now considering Igawa, but appear to be asking the Yankees to pay some of his contract, which has three years and $12 million remaining. Igawa has been disappointing in New York since they spent $46 million to acquire him in 2007 ($26 million to the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League to obtain his rights and a five-year $20 million contract), but his numbers in Japan (3.15 ERA over parts of eight seasons) and his minor-league numbers last year (3.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) are very encouraging. The lefty is just 29, too. 

Rotoworld says, “He’d be a nice gamble for the Brewers if the Yankees would pick up about a third” of his contract. He’s the perfect kind of player to take a risk on, especially if the Yankees pick up some of his salary. A simple change of scenery could do wonders for him.

Doug Melvin reportedly was “infuriated” when the Yankees asked the Brewers to pay some of Cameron’s salary and “stormed away” from discussions last week, so I think he’ll just wait this thing out until the Yankees make the financial part of the trade look very nice for the Brewers.

- In-Between Hops likes the potential of Melky Cabrera.

- The Brewers are listed as a “possible target” for former Marlins reliever Joe Nelson. The 34-year-old right-handed reliever pitched mostly in the late innings for the Marlins last year. Nelson would be a nice addition for the Crew, but the bullpen is starting to fill up and I’m not sure the team is going to offer anymore significant contracts for relievers if they’re not closer-types.

- Now that the Cubs have broken off discussions with the Padres for Jake Peavy, it sounds like Peavy is beginning to warm up to being traded to teams that aren’t on his “list.” 

Would he accept a trade to the Brewers? Hard to say...But he does seem to want to stay in the NL and it should be easy for him to see that the Brewers are among the most talented young teams in baseball, especially on offense, and a top-of-the-rotation starter would go a long way toward pushing them into serious contention.

I’m afraid the Padres would start the trade discussions with Escobar though and would likely also ask for pitching prospects, Jeffress possibly? Since they asked for six players from the Cubs, it probably wouldn’t end there, either...While it’d be nice to get Peavy, the questions surrounding his injuries and the high price in a trade make it pretty hard to believe the Brewers would be a good match.

Chicago sports talk radio hosts were supposedly reporting that the Brewers were in discussions with the Cubs and Padres on a three-team trade with Peavy going to the Cubs and Jason Marquis coming to the Brewers.

I have no idea why the Brewers would help the Cubs get Peavy and I also have no idea why they’d want Marquis, who is an expensive starter that has back-of-the-rotation stuff at best. I sincerely doubt there was anything to this rumor, even before the Peavy trade talks fell apart.

- Now that the Yankees have signed Sabathia and Burnett, it appears they won’t go after Ben Sheets.

That’s good news for the Brewers, since Sheets is a Type A free agent. The Yankees will already be giving their first-round pick to the Brewers (for Sabathia) and second-round pick to the Blue Jays (for Burnett) (assuming they don’t sign any other free agents ranked higher than those two) so the Brewers would have got a third-round pick from the Yankees for Sheets at best.

Unfortunately, the Rangers appear to be the most likely destination for Sheets and the Brewers would only get a second-round pick from them since the Rangers have the 14th pick in the draft and the top 15 picks are protected.


News from the Brewers Farm

- Little-Known Fact: Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys is a minority owner of the Nashville Sounds.

- Mark Holliman, the former Cubs minor-league pitcher whom the Brewers selected in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft, was not expecting to change teams:

“I didn’t even know I was eligible (for the Rule 5),” he said.

- When the Brewers lost shortstop Guilder Rodriguez in the Rule 5 draft, they lost a local fan favorite, but they apparently also lost a talented dancer:

Guilder Rodriguez is not a name you would expect to cross the transactions page of your local newspaper. He was recently selected by the Texas Rangers from the Milwaukee Brewers in the AAA Rule 5 draft. Signed by legendary scout Epy Guerrero in 2001 he has played seven seasons, generally as a utility player.
He can run and field but is a slap hitter at the plate. In his professional baseball career he has NEVER hit a home run. He has played at least parts of the last four season in Huntsville and was one of the most popular players there. His popularity stems from his sheer joy in playing baseball. I have predicted that he will still be playing in the Venezuelan winter league when he is 45.      
Rodriguez’s best tool, however, might be his dance moves. Two seasons ago in a promotion a local dance troupe performed between innings on the top of the dugouts for the crowd’s entertainment. Guilder twice joined them, in uniform, to the delight of the crowd and his teammates who poured out of the dugout to watch. 60 field, 55 speed, 20 power and 70 tango was my scouting report.


NL Central

- The Cubs are focusing on Milton Bradley. He’d be a nice pick-up for the Cubs, who could use a left-handed outfielder. But does a team that already has douchebags seemingly stacked in every corner of the clubhouse (including Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Marmol, Jeff Samardzija, Mark DeRosa and Lou Piniella) really need one more supreme douche?

I cannot wait for the all-but-guaranteed epic clubhouse meltdown this summer if this deal does go through.


Other Brewers News

- Former Brewer Derrick Turnbow is receiving interest from the Rockies, Pirates, Giants and Tigers.

- Former Brewer Chad Moeller reportedly signed a minor-league deal with Baltimore.

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